Three days of mourning have been declared after Cypriots Kyprianos Papaioannou, 23, and Anastasia Adamidou, 24, were confirmed dead by Greek authorities after their bodies were identified through DNA in the deadly train collision.
Papaioannou and Adamidou were identified using DNA testing from samples provided by their family, who flew to Greece to determine the fate of their loved ones.
Papaioannou, a 23-year-old student from the village of Avgorou in Famagusta, had been one of the two missing Cypriots aboard a train that crashed in Tempi, northern Greece, on Wednesday.
His body was identified on Thursday night with DNA samples provided by his family.
The second Cypriot, 24-year-old dentistry graduate Anastasia Adamidou from Paphos, was identified Friday morning.
President Nikos Christodoulides expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the two Cypriots and the rest of the victims of the tragedy, reaffirming the government’s undivided support.
“Upon the instructions of the President of the Republic, the cost of transporting the bodies of the two young students, as well as the return of their family members to Cyprus, will be covered by the state,” said the Presidency.
The funeral of the two Cypriot students will be carried out at the state’s expense.
President Christodoulides also declared three day-mourning period while giving instructions for all members of the government to refrain from any public events.
President Nikos Christodoulides has instructed all government buildings to fly flags at half-mast as a sign of respect.
“These are difficult times,” foreign ministry permanent secretary Kornelios Korneliou said after the identification of Papaioannou’s body.
Papaioannou graduated from the Famagusta Music School, which has announced its “immense sadness and shock as it bids farewell to its beloved former student”.
He graduated from the school in 2018 with excellent grades, and after his military service as a commando, he continued his studies in law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Papaioannou was returning to Thessaloniki after spending the Green Monday long holiday weekend on a Greek island with his fiancé.
The couple parted ways in Athens before Papaioannou boarded the train to Thessaloniki.
Avgorou community leader Panayiotis Michaela told CNA that the community is on standby to do whatever it can to support the student’s family.
He said Kyprianos was a young man who was close to the church.
“His father is the community’s priest; he has been with us in good times and bad times.
“Now we have an obligation to support Kyprianos’ family and Father Christodoulos.”
Adamidou, 24, from Paphos, graduated from the Dentistry School of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.
She had boarded the train on her return from Bulgaria, where she had gone to attend the graduation ceremony of a close friend.
The death toll from the freak train accident in Tempi has risen to 57.
The crash occurred as the passenger train emerged from a tunnel and hit a freight train.
Local authorities have arrested the station master at the Larissa train station, who has reportedly admitted to committing a fatal error which led to the accident.
As a result of the fatal error, the two trains found themselves head-to-head on the same track while a warning system failed to alert the drivers to stop.